Freshers' Trip 2021

Freshers' Trip 2021

Father looks on proudly as his son consumes m i l k

That’s right baby, I’m back from retirement! I know I said Portland was going to be my last trip report, but unfortunately for all of you I’m a compulsive liar and also have an insatiable lust for writing drivel.

Sit back, relax, get yourself a mug of hot lemonade, and prepare yourself for consumption of the final episode of the Rob Haseler Trip Reports.


Let us commence.


Thanks to the SU’s popular decision to scrap the entire transport fleet, Freshers’ Trip’s logistical difficulty was multiplied by ~2.33. Against all odds, BUMCs latest star-chair managed to arrange a coach to drive us from Bath. 5 hours later we were in Snowdonia having only left 1 person behind. Absolutely nothing eventful happened on the first night. Nothing. Incredibly disappointing.

(I’ve just been reminded that somebody did, in fact, projectile vomit in the upstairs 20-person room. According to some, this may be construed as “eventful”).

Jon, Alex, and I were up bright and early to set up top ropes outside the hut. Emma2 needed some beauty sleep, so they decided to join us later. Breakfast commenced, including some professionally-prepared pancakes from BUMC’s latest Star Chef Lucas.


Will & Jonny led a group of 10 experienced and weather-hardened individuals up the north ridge (directly up the face) of Tryfan. Josh, Artemi, Emma, & Vanessa led a group of 17 able-bodied individuals accomplished at using their legs on an insane walk up some ridiculous mountain ridges to the west.













Alex, Emma, and Sam engaged in a spot of Special ClimbingTM over at Little Tryfan with some of our freshers, whilst me and Jon supervised top roping & abseiling next to the hut. As we returned to the hut for lunch, neither of us could have known of the abomination that awaited us.



In the lesser-treaded regions of the world, some speak of an evil so dark and feared that it can scare even the bravest of the brave. On stormy nights in mountaineering huts, expedition leaders watch beads of sweat roll down foreheads as they recount tales of lost hope and dread. On this trip, one such evil manifested itself.

It started relatively benignly; after disposing of some spent nutrients, I discovered that the toilets were not draining. To my horror, Jon pointed me towards the drain rods, henceforth known as “Poo screws”. Little did I know, by the afternoon my horror would escalate to levels previously undiscovered by man.

We quickly discovered that our foe was not in the U-bend, but deeper in the bowels of the septic system. With the aid of a club nutkey, we pried the sewer lid off to uncover the enemy’s filthy lair. Poo met us at the gate. Poo was piled up the sewer walls. Poo was backed up in the pipework of all 3 toilets. A hulking mass of human waste had formed, crusted over at the top.


Fear gripped me.


In moments like these, I find myself taking strength from the immortal words of Larry Enticer. Poo stick in hand, I assaulted the evil amassed in front of me. Thrust after thrust I attacked but my enemy’s strength held strong, casting aside my blows like I was infinitesimal. As the dark walls of defeat closed in around me, I thought of my loved ones and prayed for a quick end – but then through the shadow came a ray of light to seed hope; Jon, seeing my desperate need, put down his salad, donned his suit of armour, and rushed to my aid. Wresting the Poo stick from my grip he penetrated the mound with such a vigour that fallout splashed 3 feet in every direction, before tearing open the hole with a powerful twist.

Thrust, twist, retreat. Thrust, twist, retreat. Thrust, twist, retreat.

As the walls of the Poo broke down, the floods of water erupted from the mound like a dirty spring returning life to a dying river. As Jon continued his battle, I kept the river flowing, and bit by disgusting bit we eviscerated our foe.

By expert estimates, 35 litres of human waste had wedged itself in the septic system and against all odds, Jon and I survived to tell the tale.


With the poo now contained and the foul vapours banished from the entranceway, the dynamic duo were free to spend the rest of the afternoon pissing about on Little Tryfan with the others.


Against all odds, the walking trip returned (in two parts) with 17 members. Whether or not these were the same members that set out is anybody’s guess, but if a Fresher or two had perished then they had also been replaced by the time the group made it home.


The scramble team completed their ascent of the North Face of Tryfan in record time. I personally heard many of the freshers likened leaders Will & Jonny to Bonington & Scott. An outstanding effort all around.


All of the Special ClimbersTM managed to retain both their gear and their dignity, which was considered a huge success.


Some of us even managed to get a bit of evening torch-lit bouldering in, which included a 4-star chimney (worth travelling for).


Every team has a stand-out member though, and Freshers’ Trip’s stand-out member was Phoebe. With minimal notice, she stepped up and spearheaded the cooking of Saturday night’s Chilli. Lord, if only you could have seen the volume of rice; it was magical. Watching her order freshers to chop peppers was like watching Hannibal at the Battle of Cannae [216 BC] ordering the Carthaginians to ruthlessly annihilate Rome’s army. Praise be to Phoebe.

With bellies full of chilli, we crowded into the snug and began the evening festivities. Table bouldering kicked off our evening, with climbing secs Emma2 showing us how it’s done. A special mention for Wendy who put up one of the best fights I think I’ve seen, finally thrutching over the top after her brutal battle. Emma H came back for round two, acing the feet first top-out and leaving the rest of us feeling like absolute punters.


Having exhausted the resources of fun from our favourite table, we moved on to the Pot Game. With so many fresh faces on the trip there were certainly a few unorthodox tactics employed (some of which even managed to briefly support up to 2 people). However, I am now old and wise, and have seen many pot gamers try, fail, and succeed. Call me cynical, but I knew that eventually the youngsters would find out that sometimes the old ways are in fact the best. We had some stellar efforts over the course of the game, the most heart-warming being the embrace between Will and Jonny. In the end, the prize had to go to Jonny and his team, where he supported 1 person on his shoulders, 1 on his front, 1 on his back, 2 on his sides, and 2 embracing his feet. Congratulations team, a solid score of 8!

Needless to say, we slept well on Saturday night.


Sunday morning rolled around, and with it came wet weather. We awoke to a superbly cooked breakfast (thank you Phoebe) and planning of the wet weather activity began. Since it involved walking, I bravely elected to fob it off and instead listen to drum & bass in the hut (with a touch of cleaning here and a pinch of gear-sorted there). The squad of keen beans made their way around the local vicinity, with some of the even keener beans deciding to venture far and wide in search of places to put their feet. All of them returned wet, but somehow also happy (I’ll never understand walkers). Dave the coach driver met us at the entrance, and 1 by 1 we filed back on to the bus.

And thus we close the chapter on 2021’s Freshers’ Trip. I hope you all enjoyed this literary adventure (I certainly did). I am afraid that this time, this report truly will be my last. To all of my avid followers: do not weep, for one day my words may grace your pages again in the great beyond.


Thank you.

Rob Haseler

Climbing Sec (2018-2020)

Gear Sec (2021-2022)